Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Personal Website

Just finished to publish my personal website ( Finally, managed to finish it. Thank you to all my friends that help me making this website. Thanks to Herman who helped me in making the design and transform my picture to a lovely header. Thanks to Eddy who helped me to check the grammar, wording and language. Thanks to Helda who became my final checker for my website (she check everything, especially the content). And thanks to the others that give me a very big support when I'm developing my website.

Feel free to visit my website and give me comments ...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Short Trip to Hanoi – Halong Bay

It was almost three month since my short trip to Hanoi and Halong Bay, Vietnam. During this one month, I didn’t have time to write a post about that trip. Correction, it is not because I didn’t have the time, but because I’m too lazy to write it :D. The trip was short but memorable; it is one of trip that I wouldn’t forget.

To make it short, I went to Hanoi and Halong Bay with 7 other crazy friends, 4 girls and 3 boys. Our trip was arranged by a tour travel agency and thanks to Nellie, whose already dedicated her time to negotiate with the tour travel, we had a fair price for 4 day and 3 night trip. We planned this trip for around 2 to 3 months.

The trip started on Tuesday, 30 April at 1.30 pm. We gathered at Changi Airport and after all of us arrived, we checked in. We used Vietnam Airlines from Changi to Hanoi. The plane took off at 4pm (Singapore time) and arrived at Hanoi at 7pm (Vietnam time, which is one hour late then Singapore). We were greeted by our tour guide, Kuang, and our driver, Toing (if I’m not mistaken), both are Vietnamese men. They escorted us to Restaurant Green Papaya to have dinner. We ate Vietnamese Cuisine there. The food was good; at least we all liked the food.

After dinner, we went to Jasper Hotel, the hotel that we were going to stay during our stay in Hanoi. Kuang helped us to check in and arranged our rooms. Although there had been a little misunderstanding about the room arrangement, we finally resolved it. After room arrangement solved, we wanted to explore night activities around Hanoi, so we took taxi to go to Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake was near our hotel, it only took about 5 minutes with taxi. Hoan Kiem Lake is historical lake in centre of Hanoi and serves as one of places for public activities. Although it was already quite late, 9pm, the lake was still very crowded. Perhaps because it was weekend, so a lot of Vietnamese stayed out late and spent their time in the lake. There was also a kind of performance by local singer there and a lot of people watched it. We walked and took pictures along the lake. We spent about 30 minutes there and then we rushed back to our hotel because it was started to rain. Here we experienced the traffic of Hanoi. The traffic was terrible. When we want to cross the street, not only we had to pay attention to the left and right side of the road, we also had to pay attention to the front and back side of the road. Terrible right? Luckily we managed to cross the street in one piece.

I almost forgot, on our way to the hotel, we dropped by on one of the seller on the side walk and tasted the Mix Fruit Ice (various fruits mix with ice, sugar, milk) and sit on small chair (looks like chair that is used by children).

On the second day of our trip, our driver picked us from the hotel at 8am, just after we finished our breakfast. And our five hour bus journey to Halong Bay begun .... usually it only took about 3 to 4 hour drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay, but unfortunately, it was the national day of Vietnams, so a lot of people went for holiday and made the traffic very crowded. After arrived at Halong City, we waited almost 30 minutes for our boat, Hai Long Suite (I hope it is right). Our boat cannot go to the pier (I don’t want to call it a harbour, because it only a small port) so we had to take another small boat to embark to the boat. At the boat, we had our welcome drink and listened to Cruise briefing. In the cruise briefing, one of the boat staffs explains about the cruise activities, places that we were going to visit and onboard activities. After that, we savoured a delicious Vietnamese lunch as Hai Long Suite heads to Bai Tu Long Bay passing the towns of Hon Gai and Cam Pha, Oan lagoon, Mat Quy (Monster Head) and Am Tich (Teapot) Islets and Vung Vieng fishing village (according to the itinerary).

We rested for a while in our cabins (the boat cabins is more comfortable and nicer than Jasper hotel rooms). We went to the sundeck and enjoyed the air and view there. And then, as stated in the itinerary, we docked for a while and visited Surprise Cave (Sung Sot), the largest and most impressive cave. Well, the boat was not actually docked, only anchored, but we used small boat to transfer us from the boat to the land. The cave is made by nature. There are three large grottoes, each festooned with stalactites and stalagmites that take on different shapes, such as a dragon, tiger, and event Buddha Hand. In the end of the journey in the cave, we saw a spectacular view over the bay below. We spent a few minutes there to smell the fresh air and of course took a lot of pictures. Then, we climbed down and went back to the boat.

Back in the boat, there was an onboard activity, cooking demonstration. Because, all of us were not interested in cooking, so we skipped that activity and took rest in our cabin. We went to the sundeck again, enjoyed the air, and took pictures. According to the boat schedule, we should go to the fishing village after that, but unfortunately, we missed the small boat, so we cannot went to the fishing village. So we made another plan. Four of us, me included, went for kayaking.... while 4 others enjoyed a Happy Hour drink in the boat. After one hour kayaking, we got back in the boat, ordered drinks and went to bath. Then..... dinner ..... seafood seat dinner onboard. After dinner, we sat on the sundeck and enjoying sky view at night ...

The next morning, we were still on the boat. We should have started our day with Tai Chi on the Sundeck, but we skipped that activity. :D it’s too early to wake up. We had a light breakfast and then went to Virgin Island. At Virgin Island, we climbed almost 200 steps to go to the top and viewed the bay below. It is an amazing view. After that, brunch was waiting for us. We ate our brunch as the boat leisurely back to the pier. We disembark at Halong Pier, Halong City and proceed back to Hanoi.

Similar from Hanoi to Halong, our bus journey from Halong to Hanoi also took about 5 hour. But again, we didn’t feel bored. We only stopped once on the souvenir shop. In Hanoi, we picked up Kuang, our tour guide, and enjoyed late lunch at A Taste of Hanoi Restaurant. After that, we rushed to see Water Puppet Show in Thang Long Puppet Theatre. The show divided into 17 water puppet performances with different themes and music. The show took about one hour. It was a nice show that captures several legends and habits in Hanoi. After the show, we rushed to the nearest shopping mall. Should enjoyed shopping everywhere we go :D and that’s the end of the third day in Vietnam.

The last day in Vietnam, just before we went to Hanoi airport, we visited the biggest pagoda in Hanoi (already forgot the name.... :D). We didn’t spend much time there.. we only spent enough time to walked around the pagoda and took pictures. Then... went directly to airport...
That’s it. That was the end of our short journey to Vietnam. It was a pleasant journey ... and a journey that worth to remember :D.. thanks friends for having this journey together...

My crazy friends that went to Vietnam with me: Helda, Nellie, Lilis, Maryana, Harta, Handy and Bong (in no order in particular)....

Our photographer: Helda, Nellie, Harta and Bong ....

A Few Pictures together....
Stairway to heaven???

Me in The Boat (Love this Pic... thanks friends :D)

Together - minus photographer (Bong)

Together - minus photographer (Nellie)
Together - minus Bong & Helda

Me and my background :D

Together and Halong Bay View

Lets Jump....

With Boat Crews..

Girls only

Who's more scary??

In my sleepless night

In my sleepless night
I’m often wondering
Where is my soul mate?
Who is my soul mate?
When I will meet him?
Is soul mate truly exists?
Or have I met my soul mate but because of my mistakes I drove him away?

In my sleepless night
I miss saying good night to someone before I sleep
I miss smiling to someone every time I meet him
I miss laughing with someone
I event miss arguing with someone
I event miss fighting with someone
I miss seeing around someone that can understand me

In my sleepless night
I would like to have someone that can
Cherish me
Support me
Encourage me
Love me
Make decision for me
Not because I’m not able to make decision for my self
But sometime it feels good to be able to let someone else make decision
I miss love ....